4 tips stable management

Stable Management : 4 Effective Ways to Improve Operation

Stable Management : 4 Effective Ways to Improve Operation

For many stable owners, the ability to make a living working with horses is a dream come true each and every day. Like most things in the equestrian industry, stable management centered around horses can prove to be extremely rewarding, but also undoubtedly challenging. The bustle of day-to-day operations can prove to be quite overwhelming, but with the proper stable management and planning, improving and organizing how the business is run can easily be done.

Market Your Horse Stable

Any successful business owner-no matter their niche-will tell you that marketing is the key to launching and growing your business. Marketing your horse stable is the best way to spread the word about what you have to offer to potential customers and clients. It has the potential to make or break your business. The way you choose to market your equestrian business is just as important as the marketing content itself; depending on the message you want to get across. Choose from taking out an ad in a local paper or magazine, designing online advertisements, or a sturdy social media marketing campaign.

In today’s tech-loving society, ensuring that you are investing in social media marketing is crucial. Each day, millions of people use their mobile devices to scroll through various social media apps. This is a massive marketing opportunity, and most apps, like Facebook and Instagram, offer assistance in finding targeted audiences for your content.

Originality Is Key

As a stable owner, it is important to ensure that both you and your business stand out and have something original to offer the public. Ensuring originality is also ensuring that you are giving your customers a reason to choose you and your business over the competition. Work on developing a name and image for both you and your horse stable that sets you apart and starts a conversation.

Develop A Business Plan for Your Horse Stable

Having a business plan helps keep your goals and milestones in sight and allows you to easily see when things need to be changed in order to keep things moving forward. Those who make the mistake of going into business without a business plan find that it can become difficult to track the status of the business and plan out what financial goals they would like to work towards meeting. A good business plan will allow you to analyze incoming and outgoing expenses and help you make a decision on where to take your business in order to maximize profits.

Listen to Your Customers

Taking feedback from customers or clients is an excellent way to improve your equestrian business. Individuals who have first-hand experience with your business are the best source of feedback; they will be able to tell you what is working with your current business model, and what is not. Taking any feedback you receive and moving forward to meet customer expectations may just be one of the most beneficial things you do for your business.

The equestrian industry is tough, but with the proper planning and management, the operations of your horse stable can be improved and maximized to ensure the success of the business and the satisfaction of your loyal customers.

 


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4 Amazing Stable Management Tips to Prepare Your Barn For Winter

4 Amazing Stable Management Tips to Prepare Your Barn For Winter

Stable management can keep us quite busy. As equestrians, we tend to have a habit of scrambling to get things ready for the approach of winter every year. It isn’t necessarily due to laziness, it just tends to sneak up on us while we are busy gearing down from the busy summer show season and adjusting to changes in temperature and schedules during the fall months. Here are some valuable stable management tips on preparing your horse barn for winter.

Stocking Up on Food

Winter brings harsh weather conditions, which often makes it difficult to head out for supplies or even to receive deliveries. If bad weather strikes back-to-back, it can leave supplies low with no way to replenish them. In emergency situations, it is important to ensure that every horse in the barn is warm, comfortable, and fed. Take advantage of the time you have before winter hits to stock up on essentials like grain, straw or shavings, and hay.

Reliable Water Sources

Due to extreme temperatures in the winter, frozen water pipes, water buckets, and troughs become a major issue that has the potential to lead to dehydration if the issue is not corrected. In fact, most cases of equine dehydration happen in the winter, when water sources both inside and outside tend to freeze. Installing heaters near your barn’s water source and investing in rubber buckets is a good way to ensure that frozen water sources will not be an issue this winter. Another excellent option is a heated watering system installed inside the barn. While this can prove to be quite expensive, many barns that invest in a heated watering system quickly see that it can be a true lifesaver in the winter months.

Snow Removal

Have a plan set for snow removal; ensure that you prepared for early mornings when the first couple people to arrive at the barn will need to clear out safe walking paths in and out of the barn. This is something that may slip most people’s minds until it is too late, and it is perhaps one of the most important aspects of managing the barn in the winter. Ensure that the barn is fully stocked with snow shovels and rock salt.

Prepare The Barn

If there are any repairs needed around the barn, it is a good idea to make sure that they are done before the first of the real winter weather hits. Broken fences, loose hinges, cracked water buckets, and cracks in windows are all things that have the potential to sneak up on you during the winter when it will be much more difficult to repair. Take a day or two to survey the barn, arena, pastures, and paddocks for signs of things that need to be repaired. Taking the time to ensure that these things are fixed before the harsh winter weather conditions hit is important, and will save you a considerable amount of headache later.

Moving forward with what you learned here, you will be able to design and follow through with a plan to safely and effectively prepare your barn for winter. Remember to take a deep breath and take a moment to enjoy the crisp weather with your horses and fellow equestrians!


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4 Ways Equestrians Can Stay Safe When Horseback Riding in Winter

4 Ways Equestrians Can Stay Safe When Horseback Riding in Winter

Most equestrians will agree that horseback riding in the winter can bring a completely new and exhilarating experience. It provides both horse and rider with breathtaking views and fun new challenges to work through together. While it can be extremely enjoyable to ride in the winter, it is important to ensure that both you and your horse are staying safe.

No Such Thing As Too Many Layers for Equestrians

You’ll find that the cold will seep in deeper and faster than you would think is possible. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you are dressing in multiple warm layers. This will ensure that your body heat stays trapped inside your clothing. For extra warmth, top off your outfit with an insulated coat or jacket.

Choosing The Right Footwear

Just as the cold has a tendency to seep through thin layers of clothing, it will do exactly the same thing to the feet if the rider is not properly equipped with the right winter footwear. In the dead of winter, frostbite can become an imminent factor as riders struggle to keep their feet warm and dry. Invest in a sturdy pair of insulated and thick winter riding boots, preferably knee-length. Wearing a boot that comes up to the knees will prevent snow and ice from sneaking into the shoe. Of course, you’ll want to pair your winter boots with a warm, comfortable pair of socks underneath, as well.

Keep It Safe In The Arena

A thick cover of snow on the ground has the potential to hide dangers like uneven footing, sticks, rocks, and holes. While outdoor riding in the winter is undoubtedly beautiful and fun, if you are not sure what may await you on your trail ride, it may be better to stay on the safe side and keep most of your riding in the arena, where you are sure there are no hazards to you or your horse. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Winter Shoeing Methods

Speak with your farrier about your options for safe winter shoeing this year for your horse. Many farriers now offer to apply padded shoes in the winter, which prevent slipping and provide a good grip on the terrain under your horse’s feet. Padded shoes also have the ability to prevent snow and ice from becoming trapped inside the hoof, which also tend to cause a loss in traction. Ensuring that your horse’s feet are properly equipped for the harsh winter conditions is a major step in keeping both yourself and your horse safe.

It is important not to let the arrival of winter get you down or dampen your enthusiasm for your time spent with your horse. The arrival of colder and harsher months does not mean that you can not enjoy your time both in the barn and on the saddle; taking the proper safety precautions for both yourself and your horse will make a massive positive difference in your winter riding experience. Going forward with the information you learned here, you will be able to ensure that you will have a safe and enjoyable winter riding experience.

 

 

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Mane Event Expo Chilliwack Canada

Stablebuzz at The Mane Event Expo Chilliwack!

Stablebuzz at The Mane Event Expo Chilliwack!

Stablebuzz is thrilled to be a part of the Mane Event Expo being held in Chilliwack this year. Come meet the Stablebuzz team at booth #1302 and participate in our contest for a chance to win an amazing prize!

About The Mane Event Expo

For over 15 years The Mane Event has hosted some of the best and most knowledgeable horse trainers and educators from North America and beyond! With the help of our trade show exhibitors and attendees we have become Canada’s largest horse expo. The event prides itself in providing education on cutting edge training methods, equine health, equine entertainment and of course the largest and most diverse equine only trade show in Canada.

Come and experience what our attendees call “The Mane Event

The Mane Event Schedule

This year's Mane event in Chilliwack is taking place from October 25 to October 27, 2019 with the following hours:

Friday and Saturday - 9:00 AM to 7:15 PM

Sunday - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For a more detailed look at the schedule, click here.

Learn more about the Mane Event by visiting maneeventexpo.com

We hope to see you there!


Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business | Accounting and Financial Management

Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business | Accounting and Financial Management

Continuing on the subject of how to Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business, we will be exploring the advantages of accurately managing and controlling your finances with three simple and easy to implement practices. In present times, stable software has made things easier!

Previously, on our ‘Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business’ piece, we spoke on how to implement crucial stable management practices such as customer service and professionalism. Excellent customer service and professionalism increase the chances of customers joining and remaining with your stable, increasing revenue. However, as your revenue increases, it would be almost impossible to fully benefit and see growth if you do not have proper accounting and financial management processes in place. In every business, everything comes down to finances. If you are not able to manage and control your capital, your horse stable will continue to struggle.

Some industry studies have found that the number one reason parents take their children out of equestrian sport is due to a lack of professionalism around invoicing and payments. Their experiences in other sports raise the bar above what many stables offer today, but with stable management software like Stablebuzz now available, you can meet or exceed those expectations.

Numbers, charts, and all the math can be intimidating for new business owners. So Stablebuzz has simplified the accounting and expense management process starting with the most tedious task – invoicing.

Customer Invoicing

A major point of conflict between stable owners and boarders is the payment process. Customers complain of invoices being sent late or inaccurately and stable owners have a difficult time collecting payment. The solution is quite simple – ditch the old school practices!

The traditional way of invoicing was done on paper; your office had a copy and the customer had one as well. Back then, it was the best way to do it but it came with the following challenges:

  1. It is easy to miss critical details or changes to a customers invoice because the information you need is in many different places.
  2. Easily misplaced or forgotten paper copies by both the customer and horse stable’s admin staff.
  3. Incorrect entry of invoices in accounting books, and sometimes the invoice is not even recorded.
  4. Delayed or forgotten payment collection following an invoice. It takes a lot of time and effort, and it becomes a tedious task. What’s worse is you have no paper trail or way to track the amount of time and effort taken to collect money. Quite often, the efforts to collect payment can cost your organization more than the owed amount.

Invoicing is an important part of your accounting department that cannot be omitted or ignored. However, it doesn’t have to be tedious and time consuming. Electronic invoicing has saved small businesses up to 50% in admin costs and here is why:

  1. Electronic invoicing can be done in minutes, if not seconds, through any electronic device.
  2. E-invoices are sent straight to customers via email or text message and your books are instantly updated once payments are made. Your only task is to press the send button and everything else is taken care of.
  3. Customers can pay by credit or debit card right on the invoice page. Their card details are saved by the payment processor, so they can easily pay future invoices in just a few clicks without re-entering their card details. If the customer gives you permission to charge their saved card, you can collect without any delay in the future

The Stablebuzz stable management software invoicing tool enables stable owners to visually identify overdue invoices, resend the invoice with one click, and keeps your financial reports up to date automatically. All that is required of you is to create the invoice and click send, or charge the saved card and the receipt is sent automatically

Expense Tracking

Now that you’re invoicing efficiently, collecting payment faster and without stress, and revenue is flowing in, the next very important step that should not be neglected as a stable owner is tracking your expenses accurately.

We all do it – spend a little here and there until we eventually spend away our profit. Horses require a lot of care from their equipment, health, and food, down to their shoes. It is easy to continuously spend. Tracking your expenses makes you aware of where your money is going and how you can optimize your spending.

For example, with Stablebuzz stable management software, stable owners can associate expenses with one or more horses and view the cost-per-hour per horse. This information can then help ensure lessons are priced correctly. However, expense tracking for stable owners shouldn’t solely revolve around horses.

To fully benefit, stable owners must record every expense made using business funds. From snacks to facility repairs, every financial move should be recorded. This is crucial for three specific reasons.

  1. It improves financial awareness, resulting in better money management practices. When looking at your expense report, you will become conscious of what is eating up your business funds or you may notice poor spending habits. This will result in a conscious effort to avoid spending unnecessarily after you have visually seen the effects of those spending habits and decisions.
  2. Filing your taxes becomes a breeze when you track all your expenses. You won’t find yourself overwhelmed and anxious as you run around trying to find receipts and invoices when that time of year rolls around. Everything can be found in your Stablebuzz stable management software, and you can grant your bookkeeper or account special access to this data without giving them access to your non-financial data. When you run your stable efficiently through industry-specific software, it can eliminate a huge amount of stress.
  3. It results in an accurate profitability assessment. Are you operating at a loss or at a profit, and by how much? The only way to determine the accurate answer to this very important question is to track all your expenses and subtract it to your total revenue in a timely manner. If your new income is in the negatives, you need to urgently sort out your spending or adjust your pricing, but you won’t know that unless you stay on top of your expense tracking.

Frequent Financial Reviews

Financial reports are often reviewed quarterly or annually. However, monthly, weekly, and even daily reviews of your financial reports can be extremely beneficial for your growing horse stable. Frequent financial reporting helps with the following:

  • Early identification of problematic spending and payment collection, internal theft, and the results of pricing adjustments for your students and boarders.
  • Seeing the results of certain implemented changes. For example, you decide to open your horse barn longer and have more available timeslots for lessons. Looking at your financial report can help you identify if those changes are bringing in more, less, or the same amount of net income. The faster you can identify the results of implemented changes within your stable, the less you lose or the more you make.
  • Identification of financial patterns. Monitoring your financial reports can help you identify which months require you to spend more and how to manage those spending spikes throughout the year so you do not find yourself empty-handed unexpectedly.

Essentially, frequent monitoring of your finances keeps you in the know and can lead to very important discoveries of what is taking place across your organization. Stablebuzz financial reports convert your inputted numbers into easy to understand graphs for better and more profitable decision making.

In conclusion, prioritize these three important areas: efficient invoicing, strict expense tracking, and frequent financial reviews. These practices will not only bring clarity on where your business capital is going, but it will also help you make better financial decisions and your accountant will thank you for being organized.

Everything can be done digitally and faster these days. Without the use of a modern industry specific system, your business will fall behind. Take the leap with Stablebuzz to preserve equestrian sports for future generations by increasing your horse barn’s profitability.


Chilliwack Based Wisebox Solutions Partners with the American Vaulting Association to Move Equestrian Industry Forward with Stablebuzz

Chilliwack Based Wisebox Solutions Partners with the American Vaulting Association to Move Equestrian Industry Forward with Stablebuzz

Chilliwack, British Columbia, August 12, 2019 – Chilliwack based Wisebox Solutions, who recently launched the stable management software Stablebuzz, is proud to partner with a non-profit organization, American Vaulting Association (AVA). With an aligned passion for seeing growth and supporting the equestrian business industry, both organizations thrive towards a bigger and better equestrian industry.

Stablebuzz exists to preserve and grow equestrian business for future generations by providing innovative solutions that cut admin overhead by 50% and increase customer retention by 30%. Wisebox Solutions has been serving North American equestrian organizations for the past 25 years, starting with a competition scoring software and expanding to membership management to cover all aspects of equestrian non-profit technology needs.

"It's got great features, especially their free release form management tool", one customer commented regarding Stablebuzz stable management software, "it's the perfect alternative to a dozen storage boxes full of paper copies of release forms." Other stable owners have also shown excitement regarding other key features such as scheduling, managing their expenses, invoicing, surveys, and reporting. One of the more popular reports is the cost of use per hour report for each horse in a lesson program that helps stables to better asses their pricing.

The AVA has been supporting the equestrian vaulting community since 1968. Providing training, facilitating international relations, and publishing insightful vaulting articles through their Vaulting World magazine. The organization has played a significant role in North America's equestrian industry having an impact on the equestrian business beyond the discipline of vaulting itself.

"The AVA has a long history of determined dedication to grow equestrian business in the USA; helping to foster over 400 clubs throughout the country. We are proud of Wisebox's recent work to modernize the AVA’s membership management system, and we are excited to now integrate our new competition management, scoring, and results system. The membership system and the competition system will be tightly integrated with Stablebuzz to ensure a seamless experience that saves clubs valuable time and provides them with the modern toolset needed to grow the sport of vaulting to the next level." stated Colin Schmidt, CEO of Wisebox Solutions.

Katherine Ray, President of the AVA commented that "the AVA is excited about this new partnership! We feel this new venture will propel us into the future - with the full backing of the AVA Executive Board and AVA Board of Directors - it will be exciting to see all the changes!"

General Secretary of AVA, Jen Williams, also states “Wisebox Solutions delivers the perfect mix of technical excellence and industry insight to help the AVA better serve our members. Wisebox’s technical offerings are responsive to the AVA’s most pressing current needs while providing scope to extend our member offerings in the future.”

For more information on Stablebuzz or to stay up to date on app features, we encourage you to visit www.stablebuzz.com

About Wisebox Solutions:

Wisebox, as a leading tech company, has over 25 years of experience in providing software management solutions to clients such as Horse Council BC, Cheval Quebec, and VaultCanada. Its latest stable management software, Stablebuzz, is set to increase profitability and help preserve equestrian sports for future generations.

About the American Vaulting Association:

Founded in 1968, AVA has more than 1,200 members in the United States and America and provides educational vaulting materials and information. Publisher of vaulting news and articles through Vaulting World magazine, AVA conducts the annual AVA National Championship as it continues to provide insightful resources through videos, DVDs, and books to its members.


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Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business Series | Customer Service

Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business Series | Customer Service

Previously, we explored how professionalism can aid in legitimizing your stable. Closely related to professionalism is customer service, a critical aspect of every business. Customer service, or lack thereof, can make or break your company’s reputation. One bad experience can be enough to drive away potential customers to your business, or the entire community, forever.

Industry experts report one of the main reasons that parents remove their kids from participating in equestrian sports is the poor customer service they receive. Examples include, but are not limited to inaccurate invoicing, poor communication, scheduling problems, and lack of empathy for how these issues affect the customer.

Customer reviews, customer feedback, and customer complaints are not necessarily negative. They’re opportunities; opportunities to improve the way you serve your customers. Being able to identify your weaknesses is a strength. The real challenge is implementing changes to improve your customers’ experiences. Here are a few methods that can help you determine what your customers think of your horse stable.

Customer Surveys

Surveys have been the oldest and most effective way businesses receive feedback from their employees and customers. We encourage stable owners to survey their customers at least once a year, preferably more.

Surveying will help you identify improvements, what to focus on regarding the services you offer, and what your customers’ needs are. Surveys empower and give a voice to your customers and make them feel more valued. Be sure to include a meaningful reward or a prize draw for participation in the survey.

Follow-Ups and Gentle Reminders

Following up with your customers is incredibly important. Following up on schedules, tasks, and payments make a great impression to customers. Most industries today are excellent at this because it has been proven to increase customer retention and customer satisfaction.

Follow-ups are critical to use after your stable management business implements changes. A quick email to inform your customers of the changes and ask them how they are finding it makes a great impression. Follow-ups are a great way to identify unhappy customers and allow you to take the necessary steps to satisfy them before they decide to leave.

Exit Reviews

Having a customer leaving your stable happens to the best of us. However, one thing every stable owner should do when losing a customer is to have them complete an exit review. Many are probably hesitant about this suggestion, as you may be under the impression that an unhappy customer leaving your stable wouldn’t want to provide you feedback. However, upset customers leaving an organization are going to be more honest and tend to be happy to vent.

Exit reviews from unhappy customers can provide valuable feedback that can help you avoid losing more customers in the future. You should not necessarily act on everything that comes up in an exit review, but reflect on every point.

Ask yourself, “is what the customer saying true? Does my company lack in these areas?” Based on your honest evaluation, prioritize, and implement changes. Internal assessments are always hard and very few like to admit they make such mistakes, but it is necessary for business growth.

How to Implement Better Customer Service

Conducting surveys and getting customers to review your services and performance sounds like a lot of work. You’re right; it can be time-consuming. But in the modern world, these strategies are proven to be cost and time efficient; ‘not having enough time’ is no longer a valid excuse.

Stable management software, such as Stablebuzz, allows you to easily create surveys on your computer, phone, or tablet and send them to your customers. Creating a survey with modern systems takes only five to thirty minutes. You can then send it to your customers with only a few clicks.

In summary

Stay in constant communication to better serve your customers and know what their needs are; this includes timely follow-ups, reminders, and reviews (positive and negative).

Without the use of modern tools, your business can fall behind. Remember that your barn is not only competing against other barns but all other activities. Customers will go to organizations where they feel more valued and better serviced. Neglecting good customer service practices will hurt your business, and we don’t want to see any equestrian stables go out of business.

Take that leap with Stablebuzz so that together we can preserve and grow the equestrian community for future generations.

 

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Professionalism Legitimizes Your Stable : Management & Business Series

Professionalism Legitimizes Your Stable : Management & Business Series

Stable management, or any other equine related businesses, differ from businesses in other industries. As a result, many stable owners, riding coaches, and other equestrian-related organizations tend to neglect to practice professionalism that aid in legitimizing their organization. Casually running your organization results in unprofessional practices resulting to customer tendency to not take your work seriously.

I recently became aware of the struggle many stable owners have with customers following their company’s policy. It just seems as though customers are too relaxed with the rules set by stable owners, or simply do not take them seriously. It’s time to mean business and legitimize your company as a serious enterprise with rules and regulations that must be respected. One way to do so is by implementing professionalism.

Why Professionalism Is Important for Your Stable Management Business

Professionalism, in all aspect of your business, is incredibly important for your brand image. Being professional refers to a variety of attribute: timeliness, appropriate communication, and presentation.

In everything you do regarding your business, especially externally, do so with respect of time. Meet your clients, students, staff on time. Send documents, emails, reminders on time. Being on time and respecting the time of the stakeholders connected to your organization positions your brand as reliable and trustworthy. Not only will this legitimize your company and show those involved that you take your company seriously, it will create loyalty.

Convey your messages clearly and consistently. The way you communicate is closely related to how customers position your brand. If your messaging is inconsistent it can translate as problematic, resulting in loss of trust. Worst of all, it will create confusion and result in upset customers who misunderstood your policies. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have scripts and documents with accurate messaging and wording regarding your stable business to be used consistently across the board.

Professionalism is also about presentation. Your place of business, logo, uniforms, staff, and horses all need to look presentable. Essentially, if you neglect the appearance of your business and everything related to it, customers will assume you will be neglectful in the services you offer to them and the policies you require to be followed. It could be farthest from the truth, but some customers may not stay to find out. First impressions, as you may already know, are incredibly important for any organization.

How to Increase Professionalism Within Your Equestrian Business

Major setbacks that drives stable owners to neglect polished professionalism, amongst others, are high levels of stress, burning out, and lack of time management. In a world where efficient technology such as Stablebuzz stable management software exists, improving your business’s professionalism can be done at your fingertips snd with ease.

To improve timeliness requires accurate scheduling. Schedules are one of the hardest and most time consuming operational task to control and manage. What is incredibly helpful about Stablebuzz software is the available scheduling tool. Once signed up, stable owners can create a schedule for their entire business. For example, owners can schedule their horses with students and can see where there is conflict in scheduling and adjust accordingly. But that’s not it, students, coaches, and staff members are also notified of any schedule changes.

What does this mean? No more “oh I forgot to tell you that I had changed your schedule” because they will already be notified. No more “Sorry I’m late” because your schedules are organized. What does this result in? An organized and professionally run equestrian business. So you spend less time stressing, and more time in control.

When your business is running smoothly, it shows. Lack of organization is parallel to unprofessionalism resulting in poor business presentation. Poor presentation results in customers taking your organization lightly, or worse - leaving your organization. We know and understand the struggles and hardships of stable management, and that’s why we provide solutions for you as a stable manager.

Allow us to make your job easier, Take the leap with Stablebuzz!

 

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